Onslow-Cole quits the BTCC, but then he finds another spot behind the wheel
New Malden’s Tom Onslow-Cole will be back on the British Touring Car Championship grid this week, 10 days after fearing he would not race again this year.
The 26-year-old saw his three-year contract with boss Tony Gilham’s Team Hard torn up last week due to funding issues, before Motorbase Performance rescued him from the wilderness to race with them under the Airwaves Racing banner.
Onslow-Cole, who has had three podium finishes this term, is back on the grid at Rockingham this weekend in the Airwaves NGTC Ford Focus after agreeing a short-term deal with the team on Wednesday.
“The contract we agreed at the start of the season was for three years, but there was never the funding in place to back it up,” said Onslow-Cole after signing for his sixth BTCC team in seven seasons.
“I brought my agreed budget to the table, but the team were let down by one of their sponsors at the start of the year.
“We had to work around that all season. The money wasn’t there to test the car, so the contract was no longer valid in terms of what we had agreed.
“It has been emotional. It looked like I’d be sitting out this weekend and now I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Onslow-Cole, who came close to winning the drivers’ championship with Team Aon in 2010, has nine races left in the year to impress ahead of next season.
Rumours had circulated he was about to quit Touring Cars altogether for racing GT sportscars, having driven a GT4 Vantage at the Aston Martin Centenary meeting earlier in the summer.
But while getting behind the wheel of an Aston again remains an ambition, he admitted it would preferably not spell the end of his BTCC career.
“I’m not expecting big things this week. It is a case of getting to know the car and getting to know the team,” added Onslow-Cole, pictured below.
“Nothing is sorted for next year. I’d really like to get in an Aston Martin again. The series I’m looking at will hopefully allow me to combine that with the BTCC.”
Dream: Tom Onslow-Cole leads in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 during the MSA British Endurance Championship at Brands Hatch in July Picture: Gary Brind
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